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Creation  Volume 32Issue 4 Cover

Creation 32(4):18–20
October 2010

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Does God exist?
by Drs Don Batten, Jonathan Sarfati

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The Greatest Hoax on Earth? Refuting Dawkins on evolution
by Dr Jonathan Sarfati

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Who created God?

It’s an illogical question

by

Dominos image ©StockPhoto.com/LuisPortugal

Domino

If a creator God needs to have been made by a creator, that creator would also need a creator who needs a creator … like an infinite chain of toppling dominos, which is an impossibility.

This question is a major objection that atheists put forward to justify their disbelief. Bertrand Russell (1872–1970), a famous British philosopher, in his influential little essay, Why I am not a Christian, put this forward as his first objection.1 Today’s atheists repeat the objection, including Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion) and Australia’s own Philip Adams at the 2010 Global Atheists’ Congress in Melbourne Australia, who said,

“The great argument for God was that there had to be a Creation, a beginning. … But my objection was simple. If God was the beginning who began God?”2

This principle of causation is so fundamental that if I said that the chair you are sitting on, which must have had a beginning, just popped into existence without any cause, you might justifiably think I need a psychiatric assessment!

The universe had a beginning; almost no one disputes that, because the laws of thermodynamics demand it: the universe is running down and it cannot have been running down forever, or it would have already run down. No stars would be still churning out energy and we would not be here.

Some have proposed one universe giving birth to another, but again, there cannot be an infinite series of such births and deaths, as each cycle must have less energy available than the last and if this had been happening for eternity, the death of everything would have already happened.

There must have been a beginning.

One of the most established principles of logic / science / reality is the principle of causality: something that has a beginning has a sufficient cause. The principle is not, ‘Everything has a cause’; Bertrand Russell misstated it. No, the principle is, ‘Everything that has a beginning has a sufficient cause’. Just a moment’s thought confirms this—something which had no beginning has no need of a cause. Furthermore, a cause has to be sufficient, or adequate. ‘You were found in a cabbage patch’ is not a sufficient explanation for your existence.

This principle of causation is so fundamental that if I said that the chair you are sitting on, which must have had a beginning, just popped into existence without any cause, you might justifiably think I need a psychiatric assessment!

Today’s atheists, who like to use words like ‘rational’, ‘reasonable’ and ‘scientific’ in describing their beliefs, believe that the greatest beginning of all—that of the universe—had no cause whatsoever! Some admit it is a problem, but they claim that saying ‘God did it’ explains nothing because you then have to explain where God came from. But is this a valid objection?

What must the cause of the universe have been like?

The cause of the universe must have been non-material because if the cause was material / natural, it would be subject to the same laws of decay as the universe. That means it would have to have had a beginning itself and you have the same problem as cycles of births and deaths of universes. So the cause of the universe’s beginning must have been super-natural, i.e. non-material or spirit—a cause outside of space-matter-time. Such a cause would not be subject to the law of decay and so would not have a beginning. That is, the cause had to be eternal spirit.

Furthermore, the cause of the universe had to be incredibly powerful; the sheer size and energy seen in the universe together speak of that power; there had to be a sufficient cause.

That sounds like the God of the Bible to me. The Bible reveals the Creator of the universe as:

  • eternal
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. (Psalm 90:2)
  • all-powerful
Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. (1 Chronicles 29:11–12)
  • spirit (non-material)
God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:24)

Note that the Bible says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Here God created time itself. Only One who is outside of time, that is, timeless, or eternal, could do this.

Now to ask where someone who is eternal, someone who had no beginning, came from (‘Who created God?’) is like asking, ‘To whom is the bachelor married?’ It is an irrational question.

The Bible matches reality, which is not surprising when we consider that it claims to be from the Creator Himself.

Two ‘great beginnings’—without any cause!

Those who reject the Creator not only have to believe that matter came into being without any cause; they also have to believe that life itself popped into existence without an adequate cause.

Even the simplest single-celled life is stupendously complex. A humble bacterium is full of incredibly sophisticated nano-machines that it needs to live.3 A cell needs a minimum of over 400 different proteins to make the machines that are absolutely essential for life.4 How could these protein-based machines make themselves, even if all the right ingredients (20 different amino acids, but many of each) could make themselves? The amino acids, often thousands of them, have to be joined together in the correct order for each protein to function.

Just think about one essential machine that copies the DNA instructions for making each protein.5 Then let’s take just one protein component of that machine, less than 10% of the total. This protein is 329 amino acids in length. What would be the chance of getting this one protein by chance, assuming that the correct, and only the correct, amino acid ingredients were present? Calculate it this way: 1/20 x 1/20 x 1/20 … 329 times!6 This is a probability of 1 in 10428 … a number with 428 zeros after the 1! Even if every atom in the universe (1080—a number with 80 zeros) represented an experiment for every molecular vibration possible (1012 per second) for the supposed evolutionary age of the universe (14 billion years=1018 seconds), this would allow ‘only’ 10110 experiments—a long, long way short of the number needed to have a ghost of a chance of getting just this one protein to form,7 let alone the over 400 others needed.

We marvel at the scientists who are discovering the nano-technology in living things—and it is an astonishing enterprise. But what of the One who invented these things? How much more intelligent is He?

It’s no wonder that Richard Dawkins admits that scientists might never work out how life could arise by natural processes. Nevertheless, he rejects the creation explanation for the fallacious reason above.

Now what sort of cause is sufficient to explain the origin of life? The cause must be incredibly intelligent—far beyond our intelligence. We marvel at the scientists who are discovering the nano-technology in living things—and it is an astonishing enterprise. But what of the One who invented these things? How much more intelligent is He? This reminds me of another characteristic of the God whom the Bible reveals: He is omniscient (all knowing). See Psalm 139:2–6; Isaiah 40:13–14.

We know sufficient about the Creator from His creation to be “without excuse”. Romans 1:18–22 says,

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools …

And here the Bible explains why otherwise intelligent people choose to believe impossible things—that firstly the universe, then life, just popped into existence without any adequate cause. They choose to illogically accept that their two ‘great beginnings’ had no sufficient cause, rather than acknowledge and honour their Creator.

Related Articles

Further Reading

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References and notes

  1. Bertrand Russell is respected for his skill in logic and philosophy, especially as applied to mathematics, but this rant against God is not at all logical. Return to text.
  2. Adams, P., The atheist delusion (an edited version of a speech Phillip Adams gave at the 2010 Global Atheist Convention); abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/03/19/2850137.htm. Return to text.
  3. Smith, C., Fantastic voyage: Can the theory of evolution stand the test of modern science? Creation 30(1):20–23, 2007; creation.com/fantastic-voyage. Return to text.
  4. This is the minimum required for self-reproducing life, which is necessary before evolution can even theoretically get started. See Sarfati, J., How simple can life be? 14 February 2006. Return to text.
  5. RNA polymerase; see www.mun.ca/biochem/courses/3107/Lectures/Topics/RNAP_bacterial.html. Return to text.
  6. There is a little flexibility in the order, so it could be a little less than 329, but not much less, and I have chosen only 10% of one molecular machine to illustrate the point. For a detailed study of how much flexibility there is in the amino acid order for a functional protein see: Truman, R., The ubiquitin protein: chance or design? Journal of Creation 19(3):116–127, 2005; creation.com/ubiquitin. Return to text.
  7. Even if the universe were 10 times bigger and 10 times older, this only makes it 10112 experiments. No matter how you jiggle the numbers, the number of possible experiments comes up way short. Return to text.

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Readers’ comments
Carel R., New Zealand

Thank you for your lucid exposition of this issue; it is a brilliant response to a question that atheists so often throw down as their ultimate trump card.

Winfred G., Philippines

“There’s probably no God. Stop worrying and enjoy life”, are lines largely printed on some buses in Europe. These sinners are somewhat worried, subconsciously, believed in a God but their claim THERE IS NO GOD is only a defense mechanism for them to have an excuse for their wickedness.

Kevin D., United States

Well it took a couple of reads but I finally got this revelation to break through my thick skull. Thank you for you effort. Praise God!

David D., United Kingdom

First of all, great article. Sinners are no doubt worried. Evolution is the perfect ‘get out of jail’ card for sinners. When faced with the truth of creation they would rather turn away from the ‘No God’ to ‘Aliens created us’ which is also another excuse continue to live out an immoral life with no consequences.

If they started to believe in Creation, they must believe in the God of the bible. Atheists and sinners are not ready to give up there immoral lifestyle, so they look for another belief that casually fits in to there life.

Jeff M., New Zealand

The reason why creation is such an important issue: there are only two choices aren’t there: evolution and a life where we answer only our selves, or creation and an all-powerful God who WILL hold us accountable ... awesome verse, Romans 1:18 ... the ostrich syndrome, of head in the sand, refusing to believe what their eyes see.

It’s not science, it’s a choice, a belief system that allows man to believe he only has to answer to himself.

Keep up the good work.

Dave G., Dominica

Great article; presents the rock bottom of the issue from a Creationist stand point. Though, whenever I hear this question asked by non-believers, I’m always astonished at how they are overlooking the exact same question for THEIR first bit of ‘matter’; how was THAT created?

Mihaela O., Romania

Very good article. These things that I read on your site really help me.

Timothy R., USA

This article excellently demonstrates the basic weakness of the atheists’ argument. Everyone who is wrestling with the questions of whether a creator exists or not, and if the creator does exist then is the Bible the word of the creator needs to think through all of the arguments of the atheists to the end. When the end is reached the atheists’ position is a desire to reject the overwhelming evidence that God has given us, a desire to grasp for something else, and sadly a desire to hold on to the sinful ways of this world. Don’t believe the lies of atheists. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. The God of all creation sent His Son to die for our sins so that we may be with God. Accept the free gift of God … Jesus Christ.

Orest M., USA

What you must realize is that just because something provides AN explanation for a phenomenon does not mean that it is the CORRECT explanation. Although an all powerful God does fit the bill as creator of the universe, so does a powerful time-traveling wizard. Should I then conclude that the Universe was created by a wizard? I think not.

Author responds

The principle of logic stated in the article is “something that has a beginning has a sufficient cause”. Unless you define your “powerful time-traveling wizard” (your sanitized name for Dawkins’ flying spaghetti monster?) as having the same attributes as the God of the Bible (eternal, omnipotent, spiritual, omniscient, as in the article), then your hypothetical cause is inadequate. If your “wizard” has these same attributes, then he is God; you have just used a different name, albeit a blasphemous one.

If your hypothetical wizard is a material entity, then you have not solved the problem of a sufficient cause because he would have to have a beginning also. What caused the wizard?

Furthermore, there is a consistent witness from the Bible and history to the existence of the God of the Bible (such as the Resurrection and the survival of the early church, and fulfilled prophecy), which reinforces the testimony of what we see around us. However, the wizard is just your mental construct, which not even you believe in.

Any way you look at it, you are ‘snookered’ and the truth of Romans 1, cited near the end of the article, rings true. Of course no one can prove to you that the Creator-God of the Bible exists if you resolutely choose not to believe. However, if you are open to the possibility of God’s existence, then God has promised, “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13).

Cody M., USA

Well stated. There are way too many issues chemically and physically for an atheist to stand firm in his or her beliefs. Sure they may have their perceived "evidence" for evolution, but ask any evolutionist how only a few atoms out of 118 discovered possible form the necessary molecules to form RNA? Why just organic molecules? How did RNA begin to replicate? How did it become aware enough to build a shell out of fats, which are different in structures to proteins? When did DNA come in, and how did ribose gain the extra alcohol to become deoxyribose? When did uracil become thymine? They can try to build it after the life exists, but nobody can sufficiently explain how the non-sentient molecules made sentient organisms.

Anthony L., USA

Loved the author’s rebuttal to the time-traveling wizard response. I have often tried to articulate that to atheists who for some reason are giddy over the FSM construct. It is so childish a rebuke that I keep thinking they’re trying to start a fight on the playground rather than have a serious discussion. How do they not see that under no situation do we get here without something supernatural happening—that is, something that doesn’t and can’t happen anymore? What caused the atom or whatever matter to move that set the chain reaction that caused the big bang? No doubt they’d rather believe a time-traveling wizard did it rather than a righteous God. It’s as if Dawkins and this fellow have never opened the Bible and actually read about the God they’re so hungry to mock. They seem to have taken Hollywood’s view of what they think Bible-believing Christians think about God over what the Bible actually reveals about Him. I’m so sick of the “Jesus is magic” label. If they want to label creative power as magic, then by all means, let it ride … but they are children, through and through, in adult bodies that spit on the only rational belief system on the planet. So thank you for taking the time to answer these absurd challenges. It’s too bad you have to waste so much time trying to be reasonable rather than marveling and studying God’s creative power … but all the same, God is using you to touch hearts all over the planet.

Brian W., USA

Why does the Wizard have to travel through time? Did he have to go back to the beginning of the universe and start the process himself? Doesn’t that mean he created himself? Anyone who watches Star Trek, knows this is impossible. I’m amazed at the lengths atheists will go through to deny the obvious fact that God created us.

Kenneth K., Canada

Someone once said that a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.

We need to pray before engaging atheists because they may hear the logic with their ears but not with their heart. They don't want to accept it because they love their sin more than the light.

The Spirit of the un-caused God is the one who breaks the barriers, as He did with me!

George D., Australia

I have always thought that Evolution is the tale that Lucifer created so he can gather more souls to HIS flock to make himself look more important.

It is fun though to listen to people spout this diatribe.

Thanks for the read.

Adrian C., United Kingdom, 8 February 2012

The fact that the scientific beginning of the world is currently an enigma, does not mean that it's cause was supernatural.

Although it cannot be proven that it wasn't, there is no evidence to suggest that it was. What can be asserted without evidence, can be equally dismissed without evidence.

Russel's problem comes mainly from the fundamental concept of God, not a misunderstanding of the role he would take: Russel questions how it can be possible that he has no beginning. Something which has no explainable beginning cannot be answered by stating it simply has no beginning (unless strong scientific evidence suggests otherwise).

I'm not sure whether he attempts to use this to disprove God, however it certainly shows the flaw in the beginning of the universe under any circumstance.

Dr Batten responds

Russell did indeed offer this as his first excuse for not being a Christian. He said, “If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause. If there can be anything without a cause, it may just as well be the world as God, so that there cannot be any validity in that argument.” I showed how this was a baseless, false assertion, but then Russell might be due some latitude here because at the time the ‘experts’ were entertaining the idea of an eternal universe (hence there was a lot of opposition to the big bang, even up to the 1950s). Opposition continues today for the same reason. That the universe had a beginning rests on one of the bedrocks of physics, proven over and over, the Second Law of Thermodynamics, so my argument is based on what we do know, not what we don’t know. A beginning without a cause would contradict every experiment ever done. A sufficient cause is demanded by the evidence and that cause cannot be material, because it could then not exist eternally. It had to be non-material, or spirit, and very powerful—attributes of God. But it is all set out in the article.

William W., United States, 29 February 2012

The idea of causation suggests a material cause to a material effect. No one has offered any plausible way for the immaterial/non-material to affect the material universe. Quoting bronze age cult leaders does not suggest a reason to believe that something immaterial can be intelligent or cause massive (or any) effects on the material world. If you could offer a hypothesis on how that could happen, it would bolster the argument over the evolutionists who offer detailed theories to support evolution and the big bang. Also, many physicists propose an infinite meta-universe that requires no beginning. Lastly, I would offer that the incredible number of flaws in the life (e.g., cancer, knees, failed organisms) we see around us is nearly definitive proof that no intelligent, god-like entity designed the life.

Don Batten responds

The conclusion that the universe must have had a non-material (spiritual) cause does not depend on providing a mechanism for Spirit to create matter. The quotes from the Bible were not offered as 'proof', but rather to show the nature of the One revealed in the Bible is consistent in many respects with what the sufficient cause for the Universe and life must have been like. In other words, if these words were just the ideas of "bronze age cult leaders", they were rather enlightened for their time, or else the words they recorded were inspired by the Creator himself.

As for "many physicists" proposing a meta-universe with no beginning? Not many, but some, and merely because they propose something does not mean it is a viable idea. Indeed all attempts at eternal matter founder, as a recent New Scientist article showed: Physicists: The universe had a beginning.

'Bad design' proves things were not designed by God? Knees? Mine are fine and have worked perfectly for three decades. The design of the human knee is a huge problem for evolution. See also: Are ‘defective’ knee joints evidence for Darwinism? And see other articles about supposed 'bad design' as a bad argument and specific claims of examples of 'bad design', which are not. Even if the claims of 'bad design' were defensible, the examples still show a level of design way beyond the reach of evolution. So this theological argument does nothing to prove that 'evolution did it'.

Such things as cancer and extinction of animals have to be seen in the light of the Fall (Genesis 3, Romans 8, etc.), where some of God's sustaining power was removed from the creation.

Jason D., United States, 22 March 2012

The responses that are against this article seem to miss something very important: having a beginning is only relevant when you are within a constructed framework with time as one of the build materials. Outside of the concept of time, there is also no concept of something beginning or even ending; in fact, the word "eternal" has no meaning as it suggests a linear progression into infinity, which is also another concept that does not exist within our temporal framework. Man fumbles in dark trying to explain something completely beyond their ken and then curses and rejects it because they cannot understand it, but it does not change what it is. How is it that so many intelligent people fall into this trap?

If one says that God must have a beginning, then they trap Him within His own creation and He is clearly outside of it. At times, I think that the universe must be like a glass snowglobe to Him.

Jim B., Canada, 30 March 2012

I just read your article.

Simply - what is your answer?

Who created God?

God could not have created himself - and he/she/it could not have just materialized into being.

Simple question - no answer.

Just by saying "God is almighty" does not answer this simple question.

Its just as "The Wheel" which no one can defeat...

A-THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD

"but how can you be sure it is the word of God?"

B-BECAUSE THE BIBLE TELLS US SO

"but why believe the bible?"

C-THE BIBLE IS INFALLIBLE

"but how do you know that it is infallible?"

A-THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD.....

repeat

Don Batten responds

Hmmm... Did Jim really read the article? His response bears little resemblance to the article being commented on. Look, for example, at the first paragraph under "What must the cause of the universe have been like?" which shows that the Creator of the universe must have been supernatural and eternal (that is, no beginning, so asserting that "God could not have created himself" is akin to asserting that "The bachelor must be married", which is of course non-sensical).

Don S., United States, 6 April 2012

there is no need to give yourself a headache if creation of God worries you. The only logical thing would be love created God. A five year old could understand this.

Don Batten responds

The article clearly argues that God was not created, so it seems that the commenter has not read the article. Furthermore, contrary to the assertion, even children not taught about God understand that there must be a supernatural creator of the world; see: Children see the world as ‘designed’!. Children are too logical to think that they created God who created them.

Owen W., Canada, 19 April 2012

The idea that it is impossible for the universe to be infinite is not true. Energy can never be lost from the universe because energy can never be created or destroyed. There is nowhere for energy to go other than the universe and so in an infinite cycle of collapse and re-expansion the new universe would have to have the exact same amount of mass and therefor energy as the last one. The second law of thermodynamics only applies in an imperfect system were energy can escape from the system. This is not such a case.

Don Batten responds

Actually, the Second Law only applies in a closed system! So each hypothetical cylce has less available energy (not less energy) and eventually there will be zero available energy (all the energy will be evenly distributed such that no work can be done, which is called heat death). Ergo, there can be no eternal cycle of expansions and collapses. You can learn more about thermodynamics here: Thermodynamics Q&A

Vilho K., Finland, 19 April 2012

There is one little flaw in this article. There are no "laws of decay" that state that energy "burns up". Contrary, it seems like the amount of energy in universe is constant.

If you take this into account the argument here would lose its basis.

Don Batten responds

Nowhere does the article or my comments say that energy "burns up". The phrase used was: "less energy available" and this is correct according to the Second Law of Thermodyamics (commonly called the "law of decay"). This was also explained in my response to Owen W., 19 April 2012.

Gintas A., Germany, 30 April 2012

From some comments it looks like the sceptics would like to have a proof of God to believe in Him. Faith is an act of freedom. We are most free in front of Him. We do not have such a freedom neither in front of the nature (its laws forces us) nor in front of other people (we have laws in the society). The aim of the apologetics is not to prove, but to demonstrate that the faith is not blind, that it is reasonable, that is supported. Man chooses himself.

George V., Canada, 4 May 2012

An excellent article that shows the foolishness and fallacy of atheists' thinking processes.Their lack of understanding , or should I say their refusal to consider that God has always existed and he exists outside of time seems to be a stubborn refusal to see that not everything in existence needs a beginning. Our Creator exists outside of time. If a person is not willing to believe that God needs no natural explanation for his existence, they will never get it. They are like the Pharisees and Sadducees of Jesus Christs' time, who childishly demanded a sign that he was from God, even though he had already proved himself with many miraculous signs.God doesn't need to "Jump through Hoops " to prove himself to atheists'. He has aleady done it a thousand times over. They just stubbornly refuse to believe.

TRACY R., United States, 11 May 2012

thankyou so much for your magnificent, highly enlightening article...i have always searched, whether for books, online, etc., for another person who felt the same way i feel about God, and creation, but i have never read it sooo beautifully written, or intelligently described as now!! thankyou so, soo much again...i hope to read more by you!! GOD Bless you...tracy

Andrew N., South Africa, 12 May 2012

Atheists create problems for themselves. The universe was created with set natural laws. It's only the materialist view that requires God to have a creator. God is not bound to materialist laws of nature and logic and does not need a creator.

When confronted with the difficulties in their beliefs they can't give answers without resorting to attacks on religion. Dawkins uses apologetics and personal appeals but claims to be a man of reason and logic.

Donovon J., United States, 24 May 2012

If I understand correctly, you're arguing that god does not have to follow natural laws. He needs no 'start' because he has existed indefinitely and does not follow the laws of nature. Explain to me then please why, in the same vein, a multiverse (multiple universes which transend time) of flowing energy, which is self-perpetuating, cannot exist? Please do not use the law of thermodynamics, this is hypothetical and outside the realm of known science. This self-perpetuating multi-verse DOES NOT follow the laws of thermodynamics, because it is has always existed. As a property of energy flow in this system, energy can never become balanced, and available engergy stays the same across universes. Please do not tell me that scientific arguments in our universe are enough to cover the hypothetical multiverse, they are completely different. Let's just say it's a concept beyond our mortal understanding. Now I don't exactly believe this sceneario, but explain to me why I can't use that same argument and logical strain to argue for a system that doesn't require a God. Thanks.

Don Batten responds

You are effectively proposing a non-material cause for the universe (an entity that does not obey the physical laws of matter). Another god? But here's the rub: You say, "Now I don't exactly believe this scenario". Precisely; nor does anyone else. Please see: Physicists: The universe had a beginning.

I note that you avoided the origin of life. This demands extreme creative intelligence applied in the universe that we know the properties of fairly well (properties that are not capable of creating life). This is also consistent with the attributes of the Creator revealed in the Bible.

gregor M., Poland, 18 July 2012

You need your Biblical God to manipulate people into your ordination and robe them from money, so you can live your philosophical life. You think that God of such Universe need your babling in the church ? and your admiration, so you can make living on the idea? Only pure science can prove or disprove anything in this matet as it was with Kopernicus theory.

Don Batten responds

I gave up a much better paid job to do what I am doing, so your accusation that I am 'in it for the money' is way off target. And how do we rob anyone? There are over 7,000 articles and videos freely available on this website. No one is compelled to give us any money or to buy anything. We do appreciate those kind people who realize that we have to live and help us to do that, but no one is 'robbed'.

How can "pure science prove or disprove anything" to do with the origin of things in the distant past? What experiments can be done on past events? See: It's not science!

I have presented scientific, logical evidence for the existence of God as revealed also in the Bible, which you apparently have no answer to. Is that the reason for the personal abuse and fact-free assertion?

Copernicus believed in God, as did Galileo.

Randy F., United States, 24 July 2012

All Creation and the Miracle of Life clearly show forth that there is a CREATOR. Therefore all mankind is without excuse to acknowledge GOD for His role as Creator (Romans 1:18-22) and for His existence. This is an undeniable absolute truth. So the real problem with those who try and deny GOD’s existence is an unwillingness to humble themselves before Him. They try to use rationale and science as a cover, or an excuse, for the real problem, that is their rebellious prideful spirit. It all comes down to humbling one’s self before the Lord.

Jesus said at Mark 10:15, “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."

”God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Proverbs 3:34, James 4:6 & 1 Peter 5:5

allen F., Australia, 25 July 2012

It surprises me that atheists are not convinced of magic yet they attend every magic show in town.They always have Christianity in their sights first.

Has Dawkins presnted his 'God delusion' to the Wahhabis?

Don Batten responds

Actually, atheists such as Richard Dawkins believe in magic (events happening without a reasonable, sufficient cause). They believe in the origin of the universe, the greatest beginning of all, with no cause at all. They also believe in the origin of life from chemicals without intelligent design, which is a preposterous idea. Atheists know they are safe to attack Christians because Jesus told us to love our enemies and do good to those who persecute us, a principle missing from other religions and the basis of the civil societies of 'the West'; a civility that is rapidly being lost with the ditching of the Bible's teaching.

Marc R., Netherlands, 27 July 2012

If god would not be relative to any law within this realm. (No start no end etc.) Then the possibilities are endless. Endless numbers of realms he/she/it could have created besides Heaven and Earth. All with different laws. With that saying there's no reason not quetion whether there are more god's then one. For now there is no way to proof any of this. If there truely is a god then we will all be proven wrong when we meet in heaven. Until that day there is no reason to beleave in either god or not. We all want the truth.

Don Batten responds

There might be 'little green men' on Pluto, too. God will not judge us on what we don’t know, but what we do know and as the article says, on this basis there is no excuse. There is not a skerrick of evidence for any other world 'out there'. You have stepped around the evidence in this world and this universe that there is a Creator with the attributes of the One revealed in the Bible, based on what we do know. Furthermore, that there is one cohesive pattern in all living things speaks to us of one Creator-God, not many (the biotic message). This is a further reason for there being ‘no excuse’, which means that God will hold us accountable. Finding out that you are wrong 'on the other side' will be too late. The Bible says, "And as it is appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgment ..." Hebrews 9:27.

Filipp T., United States, 16 August 2012

God Bless you Don Batten! No sacrifice made for the Gospels sake will go unrewarded, continue to bring glory to his name through this ministry. (Mathew 10:19)....do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say,. The Holy spirit continues to defend Gods majesty through this ministry.

Steve M., Canada, 30 August 2012

I find it funny that you assume all atheist are immoral and more sinful than the christians. I have a buddhist friend who is one of the best people I know are you telling me he's damned?

If God is omnipotent then he could have created all in the blink of his eye no six days needed. So why the games? I agree that the theories of creation and evolution are not complete or do they answer all questions that is why they are theories. I have a hundred questions about your bible's version of creation. I'd love to put them out one by one and see the answers. You do realize that the creation myth is in many cultures all over the world and many before your claim. So why is the christian one right and everybody else is wrong.

I believe in an omnipotent God but not the one you apparently believe. The belief that the earth and existence is only 6,000 years old is a bad joke. Please explain the dinosaurs. Maybe you'll tell me the sun goes around the earth and we're the center of the universe. What happened to that "truth".

Blind faith is simply that blind. So the make believe science claims that the author makes are just foolishness. Quantum mechanics is something all together different. String theory is the theory of the multiverse. This myth cannot answer the question of life (as we know it) or the creation of the universe.

Don Batten responds

"I find it funny that you assume all atheist are immoral and more sinful than the christians."

I assumed no such thing.

Re your other questions, you agreed that you checked creation.com for answers, which you clearly have not, because almost every question/objection you raise is answered.

Try the search box top right; 'it's your friend'. :-)

John L., United States, 28 September 2012

There are many flaws in science as there are in religion, however, science at least has a mechanism to change science. Since everything in the universe is constantly changing, it makes sense that everything within the universe would be subject to change, including sociological aspects of human society. Archaic remnants of past civilizations are of value to religion and science. However, the fundamental difference is the way this information is utilized and understood. Clearly, it is up to the individual to decide how they will utilize this information, and in some cases, politics tries to make this decision for the society, and that can have terrible consequences. I do admit to tuning out an individual who boasts their atheism just as much as I tune out someone who boasts their religious affiliation. Both are of no interest to me as I subscribe to a more practical ideal of making decisions based on the information at hand, understanding that in 5 years, I will not be the same person as I was 5 years before, given the constant that life and information is ever changing. Currently, as I subscribe to no religion, I do not acknowledge a super-natural creator. I do not subscribe to atheism or anything of the such. More logical to me, is waiting until the dust settles as everyone is foolish to believe that "everything" has been answered or uncovered. Certainly, whether I expire early in life or of old age later, the dust will still be settling, but more information will have been revealed. I understand the concern from my religious friends, especially the Christians. I acknowledge Jesus as a real person, a social activist - not a god-man, so to my friends, who remind me that they pray for my soul, I am a sinner going to hell, no matter what good I do in life, because that is not the point - I have to accept a savior. period. I have had no good reason to believe this at the moment, and I have no faith based upon the information at hand, and I have experienced more religion than most of the individuals in each religion, especially Christianity because that was the default religion I was exposed to as a child! I will utilize the wonderful teachings from a social activist like Jesus, who used completely different tactics to force social change for his time. Instead of violence like the other messiahs before, he chose non-violence. So, I would respectfully disagree that it is not important to want to understand creation, as it is relevant to human society to understand the age-old question of "which came first, the chicken or the egg?" If nothing else, at least it should get those who truly ponder the question to utilize the plethora of resources at hand to truly challenge their critical thinking skills. Thank you for posting this article to add to the information at hand!

Don Batten responds

OK, so you would like to sit on the fence. However, there is no fence labelled "Jesus was a good man" to sit on. See former atheist C.S. Lewis's famous trilemma argument.

And you want more information before making any decision. However, God says that you have enough information now. Romans 1:20 (see the article) says that no one has any excuse for living as if God does not exist (that is what you are doing; you are living as an atheist, although you don't want to wear the label).

I hope you don't apply this fence sitting approach to other decisions of life. Perhaps you will never get married because you will never have enough information to know for sure that a particular lady will really be 'the one'? Or maybe a better option will come along? I mean you can never know 'for sure' can you?

I'm not sure what you mean by objecting to "it is not important to want to understand creation", as we don't say that it is not important and modern science was founded by devout Christians. BTW, the chicken came first (it's really quite simple).

You say you have experienced lots of "religion, especially Christianity", however, I submit that you have never followed Jesus as your Lord and Savior, or you would not speak as you do. Jesus calls us to follow Him, not experience a religion. 'Religion' will save no one, but Jesus will.

I hope that you will exercize the thinking skills that God gave you to realize that you will be accountable to Him and that you do need to be forgiven for your rebellion (sin); before it is too late. As the Bible says in Hebrews 9:27 "... it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment".

pradyumna P., India, 18 October 2012

well, I am not sure whether I believe in god or not, I am just too young to believe. My question is very simple, If god created our world/universe/life/etc,then why there is so much of inequality in our society, he could have created the world perfectly from the beginning,why didn't he chose to do it. Now don't tell evil is there just to balance things, that's completely illogical. If god is so great and powerful, he could have created only good no evil. plz do reply me.

Don Batten responds

If you are able to write this comment, and ask this question, then you are old enough to believe in God. Indeed, it is so logical to believe in God that pre-school children in Japan do (in a culture where the concept of a divine Creator is not taught).

You are right, evil is not there just to balance things. That is a concept foreign to the Bible.

God created a "very good" creation (Genesis 1:31). Bad things such as death and suffering came to be because of the rebellion of Adam and Eve, the first people, against God. Many articles on creation.com discuss this:

Death and suffering questions and answers.

I hope this helps answer your question about bad things existing but God is good.

Jesus said, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." Jesus died that we need not be punished for our sins (rebellion against God). See Good news!

Ronald J., United States, 19 October 2012

Distress surrounding God's origin can be calmed by suggesting that God had parents, a not implausible solution however unprovable. If those parents were very wise and told their heir to create a plan to both expand and control then existing creation, then our God's function, in these times, as the creator and protector of His children Israel, and all the others, suggests that God's orientation to mankind mirrors His own to His own parents. That is, all His historical acts play into the concept of family, thus suggesting He had a family as His origin to which He had undeviating loyalty, as He has to us.

Don Batten responds

Surely you can't be serious? Mortal gods? As the article explains, God must be eternal, not mortal. And where did your god's parents come from? They had parents? Who were the first 'god parents'? Where did they come from? Yes, implausible, unprovable and as well does not answer the question.

The Creator-God of the Bible has relational attributes such as love because they are intrinsic to the triune nature of God. See Who really is the God of Genesis?

Jason D., United States, 20 October 2012

The question is not what caused the universe. The question is what caused Causality ? Nothing can "intentionally act", unless absolute temporarily is in place. "Existence" itself requires time. Your god cannot have created the structues in Reality "necessary" for it's own existence. You have nether answered the question, nor even asked the right questions.

Don Batten responds

This is answered here: Does the universe need a cause? (note particularly the part about simultaneous causation).

Your assertion that existence itself requires time assumes a material existence and the argument is that something had to be non-material (supernatural) and therefore capable of being eternal or timeless that brought the universe into existence.

P. A., India, 22 October 2012

well, Both Don and Ronald, your answer to my question is not generic. here you are only emphasizing what is written in Bible.You are defining god in terms of religion, that's completely illogical. if god is really there,he must have created every one including non-Christians/people from other religion or belief. If god is so perfect/powerful,then why didn't he created a world with equal opportunity for every one. Don't limit your-self into a specific statement which is there in a religious book written centuries ago. I want a logical and scientific answer if you have it then reply me. don't repeat what is written in Bible or any other religious book.

Don Batten responds

I don't think Ronald J. was answering you and his 'answer' was not a good answer at all.

You say that it's illogical to define God in terms of religion (!!!?). How else can we talk about God? God is not a being of flesh and blood or physical matter, but supernatural/spiritual. We cannot talk of God in terms of physics and chemistry.

How can we know the beginning of the universe and the way it was then except that God revealed it to us? The Bible claims to be that revelation of God. And it authenticates itself as the 'Word of God'. These matters of history recorded in the Bible are not accessible to science, which can only observe and test things in the present (see It's not science!).

So the Bible reveals that God created a world with "equal opportunity for everyone"; it was paradise. But mankind's rebellion against his Creator resulted in the dislocation of things that we see today, as God withdrew some of his sustaining power. The Bible also reveals that in the future there will be a restored Paradise where the groaning and decay of this world will be gone.

If you want to be part of that, you need to respond to God's offer of forgiveness for your own rebellion that is available through Jesus Christ.

Jason D., United States, 26 October 2012

This is just proximate cause. An omnipotent god could have created a universe maker.

Don Batten responds

That might be so but it does not change the thrust of the argument one iota, that there must ultimately have been a non-created, eternal and very powerful/intelligent cause for the universe.

The Bible tells us that Jesus the Messiah was the agent of creation (Colossians 1:16). But then it also makes it clear that He was 'God in the flesh' and indeed the eternal Son of God with the Father and Holy Spirit, so He was not created. See: a biblical defence of the trinity.

Delmar K., United States, 27 October 2012

I love your reasoning in this article because it proves that not all Christians are bible thumping maniacs who don't actually bother to read the text they quote so often... As an Atheist myself, I turn to science to answer my questions and I often find the answers unsatisfying. My biggest annoyance though is when people set out to disprove a theory without presenting a plausible alternative. To quote another Atheist, "We don't know, so therefore MY god did it with magic." Not only is this a horrible argument, but a waste of time. There are thousands of religions and creation myths, why is Christianity more plausible than any other? Personal belief has no place in a scientific argument. I believe in the theory of the "Big Bang" but I have no illusions about the many flaws it has. (See dark matter/energy) My belief that dark matter exists isn't reason enough to discredit other theories based on my belief alone. Your article, while interesting (especially your analysis of proteins) is for lack of a better word, useless. If you want to add your piece to the puzzle of existence by providing a scientific theory that stands up to experimentation and analysis, fine. But don't waste your time trying to promote your fictional god as an "intelligent designer" of the world because, to put it in the words of the great Richard Dawkins, that's just a "god of the gaps." Now I'd like to say in the last few characters remaining I have :P that I really encourage you to explore the world of science further, and to perhaps keep in mind the massive changes in scientific thinking we've undergone in only the last hundred years. I'd say you're on your ark... and it's sinking.

“Be thankful that you have a life, and forsake your vain and presumptuous desire for a second one.”

Don Batten responds

"We don't know, so therefore MY god did it with magic." I suggest you do some more reading on creation.com, because that is not our argument, either in this article or elsewhere. It is a classic atheist mis-statement of the argument. No, we are arguing from what we do know to the inference of divine design (e.g. the origin of even one protein, which you on the one hand acknowledge as "interesting" but on the other say it is "useless"; which is it?). The more we know about life and the universe the stronger the argument for design becomes. For example, materialists are further from resolving the question of the origin of life than ever. Every day new discoveries put the resolution further from solution, not nearer. I recommend this article: A theological response to the god of the gaps. The argument for intelligent design derives from knowledge, not ignorance (see also Design Q&A).

I encourage you to read a lot more on creation.com. You might find that our Ark is not quite about to sink as you think. In Luke 17 Jesus likened the 'last days' to the times of Noah when people were going about their business, living sinful lives and trying to ignore God, when the Flood came and "destroyed them all". Jesus of course was referring to the judgment to come, for which we need to be prepared.

Thoughts of life after life on earth are not "presumptuous" but rooted in the evidence of Jesus' resurrection (see: The Resurrection of Jesus and related reading at the end of the article. This is one of the many reasons why Christianity is in a different league to other world religions. When the 'world's most notorious atheist' Antony Flew renounced atheism because of the powerful evidence for design, he acknowledged that only Christianity was worthy of consideration.

If you are looking to science for satisfaction, you will continue to be disappointed. It is a powerful way of discovering how things operate today, but it is a very deficient tool for discovering the origin of everything in the past (what experiments can be done on the past?). See It's not science! Science is even more deficient (silent!) about why we are here and where we are going. We can only know these things from what God has revealed to us. The Bible claims with good authority to be that revelation of God; I recommend you read it, trying to do so with an open mind. God says that if we seek Him we will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13).


Your original comment:

I love your reasoning in this article because it proves that not all Christians are bible thumping maniacs who don't actually bother to read the text they quote so often... As an Atheist myself, I turn to science to answer my questions and I often find the answers unsatisfying. My biggest annoyance though is when people set out to disprove a theory without presenting a plausible alternative. To quote another Atheist, "We don't know, so therefore MY god did it with magic." Not only is this a horrible argument, but a waste of time. There are thousands of religions and creation myths, why is Christianity more plausible than any other? Personal belief has no place in a scientific argument. I believe in the theory of the "Big Bang" but I have no illusions about the many flaws it has. (See dark matter/energy) My belief that dark matter exists isn't reason enough to discredit other theories based on my belief alone. Your article, while interesting (especially your analysis of proteins) is for lack of a better word, useless. If you want to add your piece to the puzzle of existence by providing a scientific theory that stands up to experimentation and analysis, fine. But don't waste your time trying to promote your fictional god as an "intelligent designer" of the world because, to put it in the words of the great Richard Dawkins, that's just a "god of the gaps." Now I'd like to say in the last few characters remaining I have :P that I really encourage you to explore the world of science further, and to perhaps keep in mind the massive changes in scientific thinking we've undergone in only the last hundred years. I'd say you're on your ark... and it's sinking.

“Be thankful that you have a life, and forsake your vain and presumptuous desire for a second one.”

Dr John L., United States, 28 October 2012

Thank you Dr. Batten for your presentation. I whole heartily agree with you. Just to add another point, I would simplify the issue to the different views of definitions. The Naturalist/Atheist has usually chosen that all reality must be explained only by analysis of physical matter. This is a religio/philosophic position. True experimental science, by definition, will never be able to explore ultimate beginnings or endings. The observations and manipulations of physical matter only lead to the uses of technology-and this often for the betterment of our lives. Explanations of ultimate purposes must be explained by one's views philosophy, by which one reasons, and religion, the under-girding beliefs that govern one's life. The combination and interfacing of these three realms of assessing reality are used to come up with a "world view." It is a reasonable philosophic assumption that as we men design and create (but not ex nihio), and we observe that the creation itself has order and design to it, that there must be a designer of it. This is reasonable. The only other possibility is that the physical universe is self ordering- but this is not observed in the natural processes of matter and thus is unreasonable. As well, and this in most important, the Creator of all physical matter, does not have to be created Himself unless one confines the definition of all reality to only the physical realm. And this is a religio-philosophic view not a scientific one. I, and others, take the view that God, as the Creator, is outside the physical realm and thus not subject to it. This is the crux of the matter-so who is right? Now the debate begins on many levels. But at least let the Naturalist/Atheist admit his religious and philosophic assumptions as I and other God-fearing people do.

Chris B., New Zealand, 3 November 2012

"Everything that has a beginning has a sufficient cause (so) something which had no beginning has no need of a cause."

Now just to prove that God had no beginning or is that self evident?

Don Batten responds

If the ultimate creator of the universe is eternally existent, which was established in the article, then clearly such a being who is eternally existent had no beginning. This is indeed self-evident.

Rob A., United States, 3 November 2012

When one says, "The universie had a beginning," one is making an assumption--a hypothesis awaiting evidence. Seven hundred years ago "almost no one disputed" that the world was flat; nevertheless, further study pretty conclusively tells us that it is (generally) spherical. I don't know about thermodynamics, but the laws of conservation of energy and mass hold that the sum of all mass and energy in the universe is constant. Wouldn't be possible for a universe to exist forever, expanding and contracting over trillions of years to re-form itself. I imagine that there are a number of plausble logical constructs for the universe, some more likely than others. Claiming that the universe "cannot have been running down forever" is disproven with simple math. Something can "run down" at a decreasing rate and continue into infinity. A non-energy example: Two objects move towards each other at a closing velocity that decreases by 1/2 every hour. They will never collide, but will continue move toward each other forever.

I can't speak for all atheists, but my understanding of atheism is that it does not involve beliefs. To the contrary, atheist thought is built on critical thinking. The reason that atheism embraces "rational" and "scientific" is that atheists ask for "evidence" and "logic." Generally, atheists don't claim to have the answers, but they do resist answers given by others in the absence of plausibility or proof.

Who created God? (By this, I presume the Judeo-Christion notion of God.) An astounding amount of evidence suggests that God was created by ancient Jewish tribal leaders. God and relion provided a cultural foundation, quelled the fears of superstitious people, answered unanswerable questions about existence and life, and helped maintain law and order.

Don Batten responds

See: Physicists: the universe had a beginning (I suggest you learn something about the Second Law of Thermodynamics).

BTW, the idea that almost everyone believed in a flat earth is a myth invented by American writer Washington Irving in the early 1800s and popularized by atheist Andrew Dickson White, in the late 1800s; see Who invented the flat earth?

As for atheism not involving beliefs but you say it is founded on critical thinking, this shows serious philosophical naivety; all systems of thought are founded on beliefs. And atheists actually believe all manner of implausible things without proof; for example, the naturalistic origin of the universe from nothing with no cause and the origin of life purely from the laws of physics and chemistry; laws which say that such an origin is impossible. I suggest reading some of the articles on creation.com on the origin of life for example. It takes incredible 'faith' to be an atheist in the light of modern scientific knowledge; see Although widely respected, the Grand Theory of Evolution is really quite preposterous.

And "an astounding amount of evidence suggests that God was created by ancient Jewish tribal leaders"? I think you are confusing 19th century story telling and evidence. There is now a huge amount of anthropological evidence that monotheism was original and degenerated into polytheism and animism in various people groups. See, for example: Wilhelm Schmidt and the origin of religion.

Yes, Christianity does provide a strong, stable cultural foundation, resulting in the most just and free societies that have ever existed. It also quells superstition, answers the big questions about where we came from, why we are here and where we are going, and also helps maintain law and order. You should be a Christian, Rob! :-)

Jason D., United States, 4 November 2012

The very idea of "intelligent designer", and "creator" all involve *action* verbs. Action require time. One cannot use an "action" verb in the context of an environment in which time does not already exist. It's linguistically meaningless.

BTW, posting Bible quotes to support an argument is circular. The Bible was written by believer about what they already believed to remind themselves what they already believed. The Bible does not "tell" us anything, except what the believers already believed. Either language has linguistic integrity, or it doesn't. Action verbs "before" time are meaningless.

Don Batten responds

I have already answered you about time and causation, above, by the principle of simultaneous causation, which is not a new idea, known to philosophers for hundreds of years. Your objections are nothing new and have been answered (see the explanation under "Is creation by God rational?") This might also be helpful: Infinity through dark glasses.

As for using the Bible being circular, see: Are biblical creationists guilty of circular reasoning?

Your view of the Bible merely being the writings of believers telling us what they believed suggests that you have never read the Bible. The Bible is largely a book of history; records of events in space and time. The theology connects with the historical events (such as the Resurrection). Archaeology confirms many of the historical events (where evidence has been found). When skeptics have attacked the Bible it has had a track record of later being proved correct. See Archaeology Q&A.

Chris B., New Zealand, 5 November 2012

Am I correct in distilling the article's logic on a God created universe as follows:

1. The cause of the universe’s beginning must be outside of space-matter-time.

2. Such a cause would not have a beginning.

3. The cause of the universe had to be incredibly powerful.

4. God is outside of space-matter-time, God has no beginning, God is incredibly powerful.

5. Therefore the cause of the universe must be the God of the Bible.

Don Batten responds

No, you have mis-stated the argument at several points and omitted important steps in the arguments. And in the conclusion I did not say that the argument proves that the cause of the universe "must be the God of the Bible", but that the Creator-God described in the Bible has the necessary attributes to be the cause of the universe.

Rob A., United States, 5 November 2012

Thinking about whether the universe had a beginning, if there could be multiple universes, and many other cosmological hypotheses and theories continues to change. That's the nature of scientific inquiry.

I stand corrected on flat earth dates, but "the Jewish conception of a flat earth is to be found in biblical as in post biblical times. (Wikipedia: Flat Earth). I stand by my assertion that because most people consider something as true does not make it true.

You characterize atheists as "believing" in the "naturalistic origin of the universe from nothing with no cause." Many atheists and believers alike do "accept current cosmological research on the possible origin of the universe as the best current explanation but subject to change." I don't think of this is a "belief" in the religious sense.

I'm aware that the concept of God, and other religious ideas such as virgin birth, pre-dated Christian adoption of them. I was just limiting my statements to the Judeo-Christian context.

Don Batten responds

Yes, cosmological ideas are always changing, but unless the Second Law of Thermodynamics is wrong, which is incredibly unlikely, there has to be a beginning. As I pointed out, multiple universes and cyclic universes, etcetera, do not solve the problem. You can have an 'atheism of the gaps' if you like and hang onto the hope that one day someone will be able to show that the Second Law is not valid and time/matter/space can be eternal. But I would not hold my breath while waiting, if I were you.

I'm glad we cleared up the myth of the flat earth, but Wikipedia is not a very reliable source of information, especially when it comes to things to do with the Bible. The Bible does not teach a flat earth; for a refutation of one common attempt to say so, see Does the Bible teach a mythological cosmology?

I completely agree with your assertion that because most people consider something as true does not make it true. That goes for belief in the big bang, the naturalistic origin of life and biological evolution, etc. Even if the majority of academia believe something, it does not make it true! See, for example, what Michael Crichton said about the appeal to scientific consensus, which we hear all the time when it comes to ideas about origins.

An atheist's acceptance of the naturalistic origin of everything is very much a belief system. Philosopher of science Michael Ruse made this very point: The religious nature of evolution. That there is 'research' by 'scientists' that tries to justify this belief system does not make it any less a belief.

The concept of God and the virgin birth pre-dated Christian adoption of them? How can the concept of God pre-date Genesis chapter 1, which is the origin of everything? :-) This is very much foundational to Christian belief, which did not begin with the New Testament. As for the virgin birth being copied from prior pagan sources, this does not stack up either: Alleged pagan derivation of virgin birth.

I appreciate that you recognize that not all religions are the same and so have confined your commments to Christian thought.

Jason D., United States, 7 November 2012

Archaeology confirms many of the historical events (where evidence has been found). When skeptics have attacked the Bible it has had a track record of later being proved correct. See Archaeology Q&A.

You may have *attempted* an answer but it is no answer. For the wor *causality* to have linguistic integrity, the INTENTION MUST precede the act. The nonsense of "simultaneity by philosophers is nonsense . It has never been observed, and you know it. "Infinity through dark glasses" is just meaningless.

As for my not having read the Bible, that's preposterous. I am a PhD Biblical DStusies student at Harvard, and I knkow more about it than you do. Whatever it is, the Bible is NOT a book of history. In archaic Hebrew there is not even a wrod for "history". It's "literature", not "history". It's a compilation of various forms of "literature". As Dr. BB Scott from the Tulsa seminary says, in "The Problem with Resurrection", it has NOTHING to do with "history". The modern American Fundamentalist literalism is WAY off the rails, secondary to ignorance, and a lack of real education. Archaeology confirms some events, and also, in many cases confirms that the so-called historical events could not have happened the way they were presented in the Bible. For example camels were not domesticated until 1000 BCE. Do you get wht that means for ALL the dating in the Old Testament ? We also know that the Torah of Moses was written during the Exile, when they conbined J, E, P, and the Babylonian myths. All og Genesis 1 is myth, taken directly from Babylonian/Sumerian myth. Scholars don't even debate that any more. Where did you get your education ?

Don Batten responds

So, you don't like the answer that specialists in philosophy find satisfying (simultaneous causation)? You apparently don't like your 'gotcha' question being answered. That is, you are not looking for answers, but looking to justify your anti-Christian worldview. Yes, I know you are a theology student, but you are anti-Christian because you do not believe what Jesus said about the real history of events in Genesis—the creation of Adam and Eve and the Flood (Luke 17) for example. Furthermore, you don't believe God the Father either, because Jesus only spoke what the Father told him to say (John 12:44-50). So, you stand opposed to God, which is a rather dangerous thing to do.

If you have read the Bible as you claim, then you have no excuse for your unbelief; none whatever. That makes your situation even more dire.

And because you are a biblical studies student at Harvard you know more about the Bible than I do? I don't see how being a student at Harvard (or anywhere) tells you that you know more about anything than someone else. The logic escapes me. The most important thing I learned as a PhD student was that I didn't know much at all! It should be a humbling experience. But let's look at some of your claims and see how much you have learned at Harvard that is actually true or defensible.

You say, "Whatever it is, the Bible is NOT a book of history." So, you don't know what it is, but it's not history? You say that it's "'literature', not 'history'"? What type of literature? Of course the Bible is not just a book of history, but its overarching framework is a claim about history; the history of the universe from the beginning to the end. Genesis in particular is meant to be understood as history, as the Oxford University Hebrew Professor James Barr stated. See Should Genesis be taken literally?

You claim that biblical Hebrew has no word for 'history', as if this proves they did not know what history was (another non sequitur). They had no actual word for universe either, but clearly understood the concept, coupling heavens and earth together to convey the concept (a construction known to grammarians as a merism). But according to Edward Robinson’s translation of a complete index to Gesenius’ Hebrew Lexicon, published in 1877, the Hebrew word for history is 'toledot', usually translated as 'generations' (e.g. Genesis 2:4, 5:1, 10:1, etc.).

Since there are many archaeological confirmations of the events recorded in the Bible, if the Bible is not about history in these areas, then neither is archaeology, which would be rather bizarre! You even admit that archaeology confirms events in the Bible, then claim the Bible is not about history. That does not seem at all logical.

Yes, I know that you are a theology student at Harvard, but have you ever actually read Kings or Chronicles? I fail to see how you could read these and not see the historical nature of this 'literature'.

And there is plenty of evidence that the Resurrection of Jesus happened in time and space (i.e, real history). And if the Resurrection did not actually occur, there is no point to Christianity and I don't know why you are bothering to even study theology; what a waste of time!!! See The Resurrection of Jesus and the related reading. Many a skeptic has set out to disprove the historicity (reality) of the Resurrection and ended up convinced it happened and converted to Christ (e.g., lawyer Frank Morison, who wrote Who Moved the Stone?).

You claim "The modern American Fundamentalist literalism is WAY off the rails, secondary to ignorance, and a lack of real education." Wow! Firstly I am not an American. Secondly, this 'literalism' as you call it, is nothing more or less than the view of Bible scholars for 1850 years before the modern era of so-called 'liberal' theology, which is nothing more than the same lie that the serpent said to Eve in the beginning, "Did God really say?".

You claim that archaeology disproves some historical claims of the Bible. I could ask how archaeology could do that unless the Bible was about history? :-) As your (best?) example you offer the domestication of camels being supposedly much later than the Bible claims. However, this is a very old claim that has long since been shown to be wrong; see the short article about camels on About.com.

And then you claim, "We also know that the Torah of Moses was written during the Exile, when they conbined J, E, P, and the Babylonian myths."

I do wonder how you would 'know' this when there is not a skerrick of evidence for the existence of these supposed scribes at the time of Ezra, a thousand years after Moses! This 19th century idea has also long since been discredited. The JEDP idea (documentary hypothesis) absolutely disregards the large-scale structures in Genesis that we simply wouldn't see if it was simply cobbled together—the genuine indications of prior sources fit very well with Moses acting as a sort of editor with pre-existing sources. Indeed there are large-scale structures in the text that show it had one author/redacteur. And Genesis 1 couldn't have been taken directly from Babylonian or Sumerian myth—did you miss the distinctive Jewish monotheism and thinly-veiled polemic against sun and star worship? Even scholars of a liberal bent have debunked the documentary hypothesis. See also, Did Moses really write Genesis?

Might I suggest that you broaden your studies to include the work of some of today's best evangelical scholars, such as D.A. Carson, Grant Osborne, and Douglas Moo, among others. If what you have written here is any indication, you are not being trained to think at Harvard, but just to parrot the rather out-dated ideas of your liberal professors.

Paul C., Hong Kong, 11 November 2012

Thanks for another great article. I have noticed a couple of new arguments from some atheist friends of mine, firstly they like to point out that since time started with the big bang then talking about causality is worthless, they seem to think that because whatever caused the big bang also caused time causality apparently does not to apply.

Secondly they like to throw around the term 'zero-sum' universe, from Steven Hawking I think. Is there any validity to this? To me even a zero-sum universe had to come from somewhere.

Keep up the great work guys, your articles continue to be a terrific source of encouragement for me and a true 'thorn in the side' for friends of mine who like to think atheism is the only rational position.

For His glory

Don Batten responds

Thanks for your appreciation, which we appreciate! :-)

These are not new arguments. Regarding causality, I have discussed this above, in the article and in the responses to comments (see answer to Jason D., United States, 20 October 2012).

The zero sum idea is not new either; the idea that that big bang produced equal amounts of matter and anti-matter, which it is claimed is effectively nothing. A big problem for the idea is that the amount of anti-matter needed is nowhere to be found in the universe: Missing antimatter challenges the big bang theory. Furthermore, if matter and anti-matter collide, the result is not nothing, but energy.

Atheism is not a rational position; atheists believe in numerous naturalistic miracles, with no adequate cause.

Chris G., United States, 14 November 2012

"So the cause of the universe’s beginning must have been super-natural, i.e. non-material or spirit—a cause outside of space-matter-time."

First Tenet of Theism: "Hide your proof in the unknown. When the unknown is discovered, hide your proof in the next unknown." If all of what we define as "nature" was caused by something else, then that something else is not necessarily "supernatural". The supernatural is just an invention of religion with no real meaningful properties. "Beyond space and time" say nothing really. If our big bang expansion was caused, for instance, by the collision of other big bang expansions, then such an event would be beyond our space and time, but will necessarily entail other space and time. The bottom line is this: don't ever jump to conclusions. Saying that a certain thing can ONLY be a certain way, without having all the pieces to the puzzle, is extremely foolish. Relying on intuition has historically had a hugely poor track record. Don't do that. I know you will probably say I didn't read the article and that my comment will not be posted because you do not want others to see my comment.

Don Batten responds

You assert, "The supernatural is just an invention of religion with no real meaningful properties."

It does indeed appear that you have not read the article at all carefully, or engaged with it.

My propositions were logical deductions from what we know, not what we don't know. The more pieces of the puzzle we get, the more certain the conclusion that the universe had a beginning and that its beginning cannot ultimately be due to a material cause, which would be subject to the law of entropy and therefore would have also had to have had a beginning, etc. But then I am repeating the article's arguments.

A. C., India, 19 November 2012

does GOD really exist

I WANT MY ANSWER

Don Batten responds

There is plenty of evidence, if you are open to it (as well as this article, check the related articles).

God says that if you seek Him wholeheartedly, you will find Him:

"You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:13)

Jesse M., United States, 25 November 2012

Don, I fully agree with you that having a degree in theology does NOT mean you know the Bible better than others. I don't know how many times that I, a mere laymen in scholarship, have managed to refute anti-biblical claims made by people who have degrees in theology and/or scholarship.

For example, Bart Ehrman claimed that the Virgin Birth account in Matthew contradicted the one in Luke. I disproved this claim in a matter of a few hours, simply by listing out all the events and then placing them in order int one account. Ehrman is a scholar of the New Testament, and he couldn't figure out how the two accounts complement each other? That is pathetic. Also, he claimed that the doctrine of the Trinity hinges on 1 John 5:7 alone? Are you serious? How can you study the New Testament and not be able to find the many other verses that point to the Trinity? I can't believe anyone even respects him as an authority.

I have found that if you know God's word, and you have His Holy Spirit within you, then you can understand His word better than the "wise men" of this age. Who is a greater scholar than the Spirit of the living God who inspired the word? No one.

"But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise" ~1 Corinthians 1:27

Don Batten responds

Thanks Jessie. See also Review of Jesus Interrupted by Bart Ehrman and the related reading at the end of the article.

K. M., United States, 27 November 2012

Thank you for this!

Naveed A., Pakistan, 5 December 2012

In this article " The Eternal Being" is proved to be existed - independent of the cause. This is an absolute justification of the existence of "The Eternal Being". But one thing I want to say is that two persons declaring a statement true could not be true to their opinions because every body has their own unique dictionaries - two persons speaking of apple could have two different meanings of apple despite they both eat it. So, in Believers there are Disbelivers and in Disbelievers there are Believers. People talk about God while their meaning of God are different i.e. God could be kind for some people , could be tough for others ; God could be one for some and could be many for others and so on. I stress that firstly we should have the same dictionary and same understanding of the concept and deffinition of God and then we further discuss on this point.

Atheist and believers could both be wrong simultaniously about the concept of God. Believers as well as non-believers are worried that they are accountable - Believers obviously fear of accountability while Disbelievers are worried as they have to find an excuse for their sins while closing their eyes and claiming that "nothing exists" or simly they can fear about the end of their own existence.

But I have a different opinion and unbiased observation that God ( I would like to say "The Eternal Being") has been doing, is doing, and will be doing INDEPENDENT OF YOU,ME, AND EVERYTHING because "THE ETERNAL BEING" is independent of the cause. So no one can interrupt in His way or no one can be a cause of His applaus or wrath either by extreme sins or by extreme virtues.

THE PROBLEM SOLVED : No need to be worried and no need to be happy. Let the music.....

Don Batten responds

Yes, we have to agree on the meanings of terms. 'God' can mean all sorts of things, depending on one's culture and experience. I thought it was clear in my article that I am arguing for the existence of the Creator-God of the Bible; One God with the attributes discussed in the article.

As for your 'solution', this is not new. It is known as deism. The Bible, however, reveals that while the Creator's ways are "higher than our ways" and that He does not depend on us (Acts 17), that is, He is transcendent, He also is also accessible to us as ones made "in the image of God". That is, we can 'know' Him. Jeremiah 29:13 says that if we seek him wholeheartedly we will find Him.

The Bible also purports to come from God; it is inspired by Him. It tells us that the Creator of all does hold his creatures accountable for their behaviour. That is, He will judge sin. But the wonderful thing is that He has made a way of escape from that judgment. Denial of the reality of judgment by trying to believe that God does not care will not stop it happening, so it is best to be ready! See Good news!

Hans G., Australia, 16 December 2012

When atheists say there is no God...right, they will not find one; when atheists say we are here without cause, right again....they will disappear without being remembered.

So, what is their problem with those people who believe in a God who does not exist? Why is it their life-goal to fight......nothing? Fight reality with dreams? Evolutionary logic? Any hint from the 'tree relatives'?

I am sure your intellect tells you there is a creator, but you have to side with the those who pay your wages.

Elisabeth C., United States, 19 December 2012

I completely agree with everything written here in this article and, as a Christian college student in a secular college, really appreciate the reinforcement of some of the ways in which to combat an atheistic, evolutionary belief.

The thing that really struck me when reading this, however, is that if it is so obvious that this beautiful and complex (that's an understatement!) world had a Creator (which it clearly is) and people just don't want to be held accountable for a sinful lifestyle, why do they think that just because they came up with another theory and don't believe the truth that the truth is not true. That, to me, is like saying that the sky is not blue; it's actually green because I don't like blue. It absolutely is blue whether I believe it or not.

It crushes my heart to think that so many know that there is a Creator, and much more than that, a Savior, but instead, they trade that for a false atheistic belief, and "fun" lifestyle. Also, it leads me to believe that this could only be of the Devil because it is so incredibly clear that there is a Creator, but people choose to reject it anyway.

Peter H., Canada, 27 December 2012

Well said, Elisabeth!

Your submission deserves to be the 'last word' in comments on this article.

Another has said, "The fact that a person does not believe in God does not mean that He ceases to exist."

Bless you.

J. S., United States, 15 January 2013

You have wasted your life trying to hinder progress.

Don Batten responds

It seems like you have been spending time imbibing a false history of the world, such as invented by Washington Irving and (later) Andrew Dickson White in the 1800s.

Contrary to the mythology spread around by such God-haters, Christianity actually gave us almost everything that is good today. See, for example: Christianity as progress.

Abigail O., Nigeria, 21 January 2013

I truly love this article. I have learnt more from reading it. Thank you.

Zachary G., United States, 2 February 2013

Hello there. I have, quite recently, been trying to find my place in this universe. I was brought up a Christian but strayed away from Christianity once I was in around 5th grade. I have always wanted to believe there is a god but I have had difficulty believing it for lack of proof. This article has really helped me, it gives me a new perspective on things. This article also makes a lot of sense, it is very well written and I am glad to have come across it last night, I thank you for that. My only question (that I can think of right now) is: Who and what is god?

Don Batten responds

Zachary,

I'm glad you found the article helpful. We can know certain attributes of the Creator from the creation, as the article shows. However, we are meant to not just know about God but to know Him. How is this possible? It is possible because God has spoken propositional truths, as recorded in the Bible. He has also spoken in word and action in Jesus Christ, the unique 'Son of God', in essence God in human form.

God also operates in the world in the lives of people through the Holy Spirit, making Himself known to people.

If you are now a genuine seeker, rather than a scoffer, then God promises you will find him. As I wrote in the seekers and scoffers article (previous link):

"... the purpose of the Bible and the evidence in the world around us is to lead us to faith in God, not just knowing about God. We are not just to have an intellectual belief but a personal commitment to Jesus as our Savior and Lord. Such a trust goes beyond the evidence, but it is consistent with the evidence. The Bible promises that if we seek Him sincerely, we will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13). See Good News."

I hope this helps and you soon find yourself walking with God in His 'forever family'.

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